As if the environmental impact on Matagorda county wasn’t bad enough, estimated tons of air emissions and chemical discharge from the White Stallion coal center of Bay City means that pollution contamination would reach miles beyond the plant’s physical location, affecting air quality in neighboring Houston, the most populous city in the southern US. White Stallion’s emissions jeopardize public health and warrants the need for the EPA to conduct an overall Environmental Impact Statement, not just for the lives in for Bay City, but for Houston as well.
The once embarrassing title, ‘smog capital of the nation,’ jolted Houston into lowering emissions to finally meet federal levels in 2009, but tighter standards imposed last year by the EPA has put Houston back in the struggle to make deeper cutbacks. The Houston Chronicle reports, the White Stallion facility would push Houston past federal limits for smog and ozone, pumping more than 4,000 tons of nitrogen oxides into the air, the equivalent of 4.8 billion cars, and singlehandedly increasing Houston’s ozone level by 2 parts per billion. At a time when the EPA has taken strict controls on air pollution to halt new emissions, the need for an EIS on White Stallion is especially dire. Mayor Parker of Houston has already called upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require an EIS for White Stallion, and for that we thank Mayor Parker.
— Tyra Ismail, Sierra Club Intern —